We stopped in the small town of Füssen for the night at a small zimmer. The elderly lady who showed us our room held onto everything she could reach to stay herself. She spoke no English so all communication beside my rough high school German was in hand signals. We got along just fine. Füssen is also known for Neuschwanstein castle which inspired Walt Disney with Snow White’s castle.
Leaving Füssen in the morning we were headed to the towns of Oberammergau and Mittenwald.
Oberammergau in known for its woodcarvings and once every 10 year Passion Play. Back in 1633, in the midst of the bloody Thirty Years’ War and with horrifying plagues devastating entire cities, the people of Oberammergau promised God that if they were spared from extinction, they’d “perform a play depicting the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” every decade thereafter.
Wanting to tour a castle we decided on a stop at Linderhof castle. For a fee of about €9.50 we walked around the grounds, toured the castle and grotto. Pictures were not allowed inside the castle but we took a couple of the outside grounds and the man-made grotto that crazy Kung Ludwig had built for him. Linderhof is Baroque and Rococo, the frilly, overly ornamented styles more associated with Louis XIV, the “Sun King”of France. Here you’ll see fleur-de-lis (the symbol of French royalty) and multiple portraits of Louis XIV, Louis XV, Madame Pompadour, and other pre-Revolutionary French elites. Though they lived a century apart, Ludwig and Louis were spiritual contemporaries: Both clung to the notion of absolute monarchy, despite the realities of the changing world around them.
Stopping in Mittenwald for lunch we sat at a small table on the street watching bike after bike come off the pass that we were going to ride after we finished eating.
Looping around from Mittenwald we came across a couple of clear blueish green, glacier looking water. The second one had a campground on the shore too tempting for us to pass by.
As we pulled into our site a guy from Germany came right over with a couple of beers to start off the night. He and some of his family were at the lake fishing for a few days. Unfortunately, the night turned rainy and we went to the restaurants enclosed area for a pizza and to play some cards.
Of course it rained all night and into the morning, being spring in Germany.
We packed up wet and rode west all day in the rain looking at the Bavarian countryside and stopped for the night at a little zimmer outside of Berchtesgaden where we dried out our soaked gear and had a great meal. In the morning, with some rain, we rode to the Eagles Nest, were Hitler ran operations from his summer place. It was still raining so we continued on.
We headed into and out of Salzburg, it was a big city and too busy for us too look around. On our route south the rains stopped by the time we got to the UNESCO city of Hallstatt.
This little town was a huge salt mining operation and its main interest is now tourism. The view of the town from the road running along the lake were just fantastic. I hope this shows some of the beauty.
Leaving Hallstatt we got lost again and ended up at a zimmer (B and B), next to a 400 year old restaurant on a lake. The setting of the small town on the river was one of the most peaceful things I have ever seen.
The next morning we crossed the Großglockner pass which was just incredible. This road and pass is a National Park which costs $26 to cross it, but it is definitely worth it. The road twists and turns to the snow-covered pass at 3105 meters. At the pass is a very nice view point with view and explanations of the glacier.
…Beautiful valley in Austria
Coming back down the pass we came to a little valley that was just breathtaking. A little campground on the side of the road at a farm was waiting for us with views to die for.
As we were setting up camp we heard the bells of the cows coming to the barn, from the pastures, to be milked. The camp was full of Dutch there on holiday and they invited us to the campfire for drinks. Between the accordion, beer and the firedances, we had a great time.
…Night comes to the valley, and the cold.
I ended up in the hut having tastes of the owners schnapps and a homemade liquor with a 45% alcohol content. He said “a couple of these and you will sleep all night”.
He was right.
Greg “WANDRR” and Melanie